STORIES
Animals Heroes

Barry

by Dafne from San Isidro

A hero is a person or an animal that risks his life to save others, without being selfish or thinking about themselves. Barry was one of them.

3 St. Bernard dogs running in the snow (Site, msnbcmedia2.msn.com)
3 St. Bernard dogs running in the snow (Site, msnbcmedia2.msn.com)

St. Bernards are a very large breed of dogs, originally bred for rescue, as they have a very high learning rate, and as working dogs. They are very big and have an excellent smell. There are 2 varieties of the breed: the short-haired or smooth-coat and the long-haired or fluffy-coat variety. Barry was better on the job in saving lives than other St. Bernard dogs. That’s why he is considered a hero; he saved lots of lives risking his own, because he could die, buried under the snow.

Barry was a great St. Bernard dog. He was born in the year 1800 and died in the year 1814, so he lived 14 years. He worked as a mountain rescue dog and he saved over 40 lives. He lived in a monastery at the Great St. Bernard Pass near the Swiss-Italian border, and the monks trained him to become a great rescue dog. The monks trained the dogs as following; when a dog found a person, it had to lick his face to wake it up. Then, bark as loud as it could, as a warning signal for the monks. When the monks heard that, they went with warm blankets and a stretcher to keep that person warm and then served food and warm tea.

Barry with the young boy he saved on his back. (Wikipedia)
Barry with the young boy he saved on his back. (Wikipedia)

Once, Barry found a young boy stranded on an icy ledge, all covered with thick snow and heavy snowfall. It was not possible for any person to climb there. But Barry, as brave as he was, crawled inch by inch to the boy, who was badly injured. When Barry reached the young boy, he started doing his job. He licked him. But as the snowfall was too heavy and the ledge too difficult to climb, the monks could not reach him. No help was coming. Due to Barry’s warm licks, the little boy woke up and had enough strength to wrap his arms around Barry’s strong neck. The dog pulled him carefully and courageously from the ledge and brought him to safety!

St. Bernard dogs, which were trained by those monks, didn’t carry a barrel of rum like many others did. So Barry saved more than 40 lives without using once a drop of rum to reanimate the victims! He did not die on the job, neither in a snowstorm; he died in the comfortable surrounding of the Swiss capital. But, although he died, his reputation still lives on. There are books, paintings, stamps, bottles, and even a statue with the small boy he saved on his back! Barry has made a big difference in my life, now I started thinking about people who have died in avalanches or buried under snow because no help came to save them. He is very important to me, because now, if I go to the Alps I will not be afraid to die under snow, because I know a dog can save me, wherever I am. I will always carry Barry in my heart.

Page created on 12/4/2007 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 12/4/2007 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Barry - from Wikipedia